(Dum dum dum) The AC didn’t work. And that’s how I feel about stories sometimes. (Say what?)
But when I go to write it, the *!#$ capacitor or @!%& compressor isn’t working.
That is why God created AC repairmen.
Now, when it comes to a story, your repairman will vary based on genre. For the romance writers, he’ll be a sexy, brawny, shirtless warrior poet who just wants to listen to you talk about how you feel. For the horror aficionados, he’ll be a zombified vampire who’ll fix the problem and then eat your flesh. For the sci-fi folks, your repairman might actually be a time traveler who has realized that the only way to fix his time machine was to steal the *!#$ capacitor from your AC unit. For the children's book writers, your repairman might be animated. Or he might be a talking rabbit. You get the idea.
Whoever your imaginary repairman is, you’ll need to allow him to do his work. That can be difficult, especially when you’ve had an idea in mind for a very long time. You resist any change to the original idea. But the original idea is broken. It needs to be fixed. Or else before you know it, it’s gonna be 120 degrees, and you won’t have any cool air. Not very conducive to creativity, let me tell ya.
I recently restarted a story I’ve been working on for more than 10 years. I’ve written other stuff in the meantime, but this particular story has stuck with me, and I can’t seem to get it just right. So I let in my AC repairman. Given that the story is historical fiction, the repairman is a thane from the 11th century who doesn’t actually know what an air conditioner is. He’s just what I needed. That repairman in my mind has completely overhauled the story, fixing what was broken and tweaking what needed tweaking. I think I might actually finish the story now. We’ll see.
Anyway, here’s a reminder to be open to change. Remember, the goal is to make the story the best it can be, and sometimes that requires us to let go of some preconceived ideas about how the story ought to go.
And by the way, the real AC at our house is all better now. I’m as ready for summer as I’m gonna be. :-/